LGBTQ+ Business Community Celebrates Orange County Commission Resolution
“Orange County is open for business to LGBTQ+ Owned Business Enterprises,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “The Resolution recognizes the important impact that members of Orange County’s LGBTQ+ community has on the local economy. By invoking this Resolution, the designation criteria will allow the County to monitor its utilization of LGBTQ+ Business Enterprises in order to better understand the role such business enterprises have in the provision of goods and services to the County.”
“One Orlando Alliance commends Mayor Demings and Orange County Government for recognizing the LGBTQ+ community’s role in the Central Florida economy,” said Executive Director Jennifer Foster. “This is a positive step toward supporting an inclusive community and providing LGBTQ+ businesses the opportunity to grow and flourish.”
“This resolution positions Central Florida as a leader in supporting small businesses,” said Kellie Parkin, Executive Director of The Pride Chamber. “Through inclusion in the County’s procurement process, the supply chain is truly diversified opening the door to greater opportunity for our LGBTQ+-owned businesses.”
The resolution directs Orange County staff to:
“Formally recognize and include LGBT Owned Business Enterprises in the County’s outreach efforts when providing businesses and procurement training programs in order to ensure that those LGBT Owned Business Enterprises are familiar with how to do business with the County.
“Educate LGBT Owned Business Enterprises about the County’s vendor registration system in order to ensure that LGBT Owned Business Enterprises are kept up to date and informed of the County’s procurement opportunities; and
“Develop a method of tracking and monitor the County’s utilization of LGBT Business Enterprises in the County’s procurement of goods and services.”
Included in the resolution is the Board’s decision to use the certification criteria of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and model its guidelines after that criteria in order to ensure consistency in data collection.
NGLCC is the largest advocacy organization in the United States dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and advancement for LGBTQ+ people. It is the exclusive certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses.
In order to qualify for NGLCC certification a business must:
- Be majority (at least 51%) owned, operated, managed, and controlled by an LGBTQ+ person or persons who are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents
- Exercise independence from any non-LGBTQ+ business enterprise
- Have its principal place of business (headquarters) in the United States
- Have been formed as a legal entity in the United States
“This is an exciting day for Orange County,” said Foster. “These expanded opportunities are good for LGBTQ+ businesses and the overall economic growth of the entire region.”
Jennifer Foster, One Orlando Alliance
Paul Wyche, Wyche & Associates
One Orlando Alliance is a nonprofit organization that brings together more than thirty (30) LGBTQ+ and ally organizations in Central Florida and serves as a model of non-profits, businesses, philanthropies and government institutions working together to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all LGBTQ+ people. The Alliance was founded days after the June 12, 2016, Pulse night club shooting as organizations and individuals came together to work cooperatively to address the needs of our community. The Pulse tragedy was one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history and those victimized were primarily members of LGBTQ+’s most marginalized communities, including those who identify as LatinX, Black, and Transgender. More information about One Orlando Alliance is available at oneorlandoalliance.org.
The Pride Chamber (formerly MBA Orlando) is dedicated to the LGBTQ+ business equality movement in the Greater Orlando area and beyond. The Pride Chamber’s strategic focus is to serve as a resource to small businesses and large corporations, and bridge the gap between them. More information is available at thepridechamber.org.